Ten quick iOS 7 tips

iOS 7 has arrived for compatible iOS devices, and it’s quite a change from what’s come before. Here’s ten quick tips to help you make the most of the new operating system.

Hey, where did Spotlight go?

Spotlight used to be accessed by swiping to the left from the homescreen, but no more. Instead, it’s found by swiping down on any page — but here’s the slightly tricky bit. Notifications still sit at the top, so to access Spotlight, you need to swipe from the middle of the page, inbetween any app icons.

Spotlight from anywhere -- if you know where to swipe.
Spotlight from anywhere — if you know where to swipe.

Total Control

It’s been a feature of Android pretty much forever, but iOS 7 finally introduces quick toggles for airplane mode, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, brightness and more. Swipe up from the bottom of the screen to bring up Control Panel.

Anything can be in a folder now

Yep, that includes Newstand. Also, folders now have their own sliders, so you can put any number of apps within a single folder.

I don’t like the 3D!

To a certain extent you’re stuck with it, but you can reduce the amount of zooming and shifting around that iOS 7 does now by toggling the amount of motion. You’ll find this under Settings>General>Accessibility>Reduce Motion.

As Hall & Oates said: Going through the motions.
As Hall & Oates said: Going through the motions.

I’m running out of data!

Data costs in Australia are running high, and the plans for the new iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c certainly aren’t helping any. One neat thing that iOS 7 does is show you which apps are using data, and how much they’re slurping up. Head to Settings>Cellular and scroll down, and you’ll see toggles for apps to allow or block data, as well as how much they’re actually using.

How do I kill an app?

App closing has also changed; while you still double tap the home button to bring up the recent apps list, you don’t use a long hold tap to bring up a cross icon. Instead, simply swipe the larger app screen icon upwards to close any app.

Going on Safari

Safari is still the default browser, but it’s had a facelift; the URL bar now also acts as a search bar, and tabbed pages look quite different when scrolling through them. The same trick applies to getting rid of tabs you don’t want as for apps; while there is a tiny cross icon to tap, you can also just swipe away unwanted pages.

There’s a lot more going on under the hood

iOS 7 tries to manage a lot more than previous versions of iOS used to, and that could have implications for battery life. Apps can now request “background refresh” — that is, keeping their data up to date on the fly, which is great if you need that data constantly, but also a battery drain. You’ll find the toggle under General>Background App Refresh, where you can switch off the whole system, or on an app-by-app basis.

How refreshing. Or not.
How refreshing. Or not.

Bigger app updates over mobile

Apple’s upped the data limit for apps to 100MB when updating outside a Wi-Fi network. That’s useful if you absolutely must have the latest Angry Birds game to play on the train, but it’s also a potential trap if you’re on a low-data plan. You can still switch off cellular updates from Settings>iTunes And App Store if you’re worried.

I want my old notifications back!

The Notification center gets a new, calendar-centric view in iOS 7, which may be handy if you’re a busy kind of person. If you prefer the old look, you can tweak what’s going to turn up when you swipe down from the top of the screen via Settings>Notification Center>Today View.

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